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Before CHRIST

Before CHRIST

20.
chap. 13. 22.

thousand is

Gideon is sent

JUDGES.

to deliver the Israelites. The Lord is with thee, thou mighty 20 And the angel of God said about 1249. man of valour.

unto him, Take the flesh and the un- about 1249.
13 And Gideon said unto him, leavened cakes, and lay them upon
Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with this rock, and pour out the broth.
us, why then is all this befallen us? And he did so.
and where be all his miracles which 21 4 Then the angel of the LORD
our fathers told us of, saying, Did not put forth the end of the staff that
the Lord bring us up from Egypt? was in his hand, and touched the flesh
but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and the unleavened cakes; and there
and delivered us into the hands of rose up fire out of the rock, and con-
the Midianites.

sumed the flesh and the unleavened
14 And the Lord looked upon him, cakes. Then the angel of the Lord
and said, Go in this thy might, and departed out of his sight.
thou shalt save Israel from the hand And when Gideon perceived
of the Midianites : have not I sent that he was an angel of the LORD,
thee?

Gideon said, Alas, o Lord Gop!
15 And he said unto him, O my for because I have seen an angel of Exod. 33.

Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? the LORD face to face. ll Or, my

behold, || my family is poor in Ma 23 And the LORD said unto him, the meanest. nasseh, and I am the least in my fa- Peace be unto thee ; fear not: thou ther's house.

shalt not die. 16 And the LORD said unto him, 24 Then Gideon built an altar Surely I will be with thee, and thou there unto the Lord, and called it shalt smite the Midianites as one || Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is | That is, man.

yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites. 17 And he said unto him, If now 25 And it came to pass

the same I have found grace in thy sight, then night, that the LORD said unto him, shew me a sign that thou talkest with Take thy father's young bullock, me.

|| even the second bullock of seven || Or, and, 18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, years old, and throw down the altar

until I come unto thee, and bring of Baal that thy father hath, and cut || Or, meat

forth my | present, and set it before down the grove that is by it: offering.

thee. And he said, I will tarry until 26 And build an altar unto the
thou come again.

Lord thy God upon the top of this 19 9 And Gideon went in, and + rock, l1 in the ordered place, and + Heb. strong + Heb. a kid made ready + a kid, and unleavened take the second bullock, and offer a "Or, in an of the goats. cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh burnt sacrifice with the wood of the ordenler

, he put in a basket, and he put the grove which thou shalt cut down. broth in a pot, and brought it out 27 Then Gideon took ten men of unto him under the oak, and pre- his servants, and did as the Lord sented it.

had said unto him: and so it was, be

The LORD

send peace.

This Gideon did “to hide it from the Midianites;” and words, that God says to him, ver. 16, “Surely I will be " by the winepress," where none would suspect his with thee." Bp. Hall. threshing of corn. Bp. Patrick.

22. - Alas, O Lord God!] He speaks as a person 13. — if the Lord he with us, why then is all this be- under great alarm, and breaks off his discourse abruptly. fallen us] The valiant man is here weak; weak in Bp. Patrick. faith, weak in discourse ; while he argues God's absence 25. throw down the altar of Baal] Baal's altar must by affliction, his presence by deliverances, and the im- first be destroyed, ere God's be built; both cannot stand probability of success by his own disability. All these are together : the true God will have no society with idols, gross inconsequences. He should rather have inferred neither will He allow it to us. In this instance, He does God's presence with the Israelites from the correction not desire to have consecrated to Himself, the altar which they suffered; for, wheresoever God chastiseth, which had been abused to Baal; but, as one whose holy there He is; yea, there He is in mercy: nothing more jealousy will admit no worship, till there be no idolatry proves us his, than his stripes; He bestows not cor He first commands them to destroy the monuments of rection where He loves not. Bp. Hall.

superstition, and then enjoins his own service. Bp. 15.-0 my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel?] Hall. Humility is both a sign of future glory, and a way to it, 26. — in the ordered place,] Where the flesh and and an occasion of it. Vain glory and height of spirit cakes were laid in order on the rock, ver. 20. Or the will not avail with God: none have ever been raised by words may signify, as in the margin, "in an orderly Him, but those who have formerly dejected themselves; manner.”' Although Gideon was no priest, yet he was none have been confounded by Him that are abased in here required to offer a burnt sacrifice, by God's special themselves : it is immediately on Gideon's using these order ; which would have been otherwise a presump

Gideon's signs.

Before CHRIST

Before CHRIST

+ Heb. clothed. d Numb. 10. 3.

him.

Joash defendeth his son.

CHAP. VI, VII. cause he feared his father's houshold, 34 But the Spirit of the LORD about 1249. and the men of the city, that he + came upon Gideon, and he a blew about 1249.

could not do it by day, that he did a trumpet; and Abi-ezer + was ga-
it by night.

thered after him.
28 | And when the men of the 35 And he sent messengers through-
city arose early in the morning, be- out all Manasseh; who also was ga- chalebe seas
hold, the altar of Baal was cast down, thered after him: and he sent mes called after
and the grove was cut down that was sengers unto Asher, and unto Zebu-
by it, and the second bullock was lun, and unto Naphtali; and they
offered
upon
the altar that was built.

came up to meet them.
29 And they said one to another, 36 | And Gideon said unto God,
Who hath done this thing? And when If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand,
they enquired and asked, they said, as thou hast said,
Gideon the son of Joash hath done 37 Behold, I will put a fleece of
this thing.

wool in the floor; and if the dew be
30 Then the men of the city said on the fleece only, and it be dry upon
unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that all the earth beside, then shall I know
he

may die : because he hath cast that thou wilt save Israel by mine
down the altar of Baal, and because hand, as thou hast said.
he hath cut down the grove that was 38 And it was so: for he rose up

early on the morrow, and thrust the
31 And Joash said unto all that fleece together, and wringed the dew
stood against him, Will ye plead for out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.
Baal ? will ye save him ? he that will 39 And Gideon said unto God,
plead for him, let him be put to death Let not thine anger be hot against e Gen. 18. 32.
whilst it is yet morning: if he be a me, and I will speak but this once:
god, let him plead for himself, be- let me prove, I pray thee, but this
cause one hath cast down his altar. once with the fleece; let it now be dry

32 Therefore on that day he called only upon the fleece, and upon all the
him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead ground let there be dew.
against him, because he hath thrown 40 And God did so that night: for
down his altar.

it was dry upon the fleece only, and
33 9 Then all the Midianites and there was dew on all the ground.
the Amalekites and the children of
the east were gathered together, and

CHAP. VII.
went over, and pitched in the valley 1 Gideon's army of two and thirty thousand
of Jezreel.

is brought to three hundred. 9 He is en

by it.

tuous sin. The command was extraordinary. Bp. Pa 36. -- If thou wilt save Israel--as thou hast said,] trick.

He desires another miracle to confirm his faith, perhaps 31. -- if he be a god, let him plead for himself,] Let the for the sake of those that were to follow him; or perinjured god, he tells them, avenge his own cause : if Baal haps, wishing to know by a sign whether God would be what he has been supposed to be, you may safely make him victorious at that particular time. Bp. Patrust to him to maintain his own honour. Pyle. trick.

33.- in the valley of Jezreel.] The city of Jezreel (which Of all the instruments which God used in so great a gave name to the valley) belonged to the half tribe of work, we find none so weak as Gideon. The former Manasseh, on the west of Jordan. In the history of the miracle was strong enough to carry him through his first kings of Israel, this city is frequently mentioned, as, by exploit, of ruining the idolatrous grove and altar: but reason of the pleasantness of the situation, some of them now, when he saw the swarm of the Midianites and had a royal palace there, though their capitalwas Samaria. Amalekites approaching, he called for

new aid; and, not The vale of Jezreel is, according to Mr. Maundrell, of a trusting to his thousands of Israel, flew to God for a vast extent, very fertile, but uncultivated, and only serv- further assurance of victory. The refuge was good, but ing the Arabs for pasture. Some have supposed, how- the manner of seeking it savours of distrust. Bp. ever, that the valley of Jezreel, here mentioned, denotes Hall. some lesser valley, between mount Hermon and mount 39. let it now be dry only upon the fleece, &c.] If Gilboa. Dr. Wells.

we understand that the miracle of the dew on the fleece 34.--the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon,] Ex- was a kind of publick testimony to satisfy the officers citing him now to put in execution the commission and people under him, we then see the reason of its rewhich God had given him to deliver Israel, and filling petition, with the opposite variation : for, if there were him with an extraordinary degree of courage for such an any of his adherents who suspected deception in the first undertaking. Dr. Wells. The Spirit of the Lord, by instance, when the threshing-floor was dry, and the fleece which Gideon was animated to undertake the deliverance wet with dew, they might be convinced by the contrary of his country, was a spirit of fortitude and prudence, effect, when the fleece was dry, and the threshing-floor and of all the virtues requisite in a commander. Dr. Hales. wet with dew. Script. illust.

Before CHRIST about 1249.

Before CHRIST about 1249.

Gideon's army reduced

JUDGES.

to three hundred. couraged by the dream and interpretation likewise every one that boweth down of the barley cake. 16 His stratagem of

upon

his knees to drink. trumpets and lamps in pitchers. 24 The

6 And the number of them that
Ephraimites take Oreb and Zeeb.

lapped, putting their hand to their
THE
THEN Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, mouth, were three hundred men : but

and all the people that were with all the rest of the people bowed down
him, rose up early, and pitched beside upon their knees to drink water.
the well of Harod : so that the host 7 And the Lord said unto Gideon,
of the Midianites were on the north By the three hundred men that lap-
side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in ped will I save you, and deliver the
the valley

Midianites into thine hand: and let
2 And the Lord said unto Gideon, all the other people go every man
The people that are with thee are too unto his place.
many for me to give the Midianites 8 So the people took victuals in
into their hands, lest Israel vaunt their hand, and their trumpets : and
themselves against me, saying, Mine he sent all the rest of Israel every man
own hand hath saved me.

unto his tent, and retained those three
3 Now therefore go to, proclaim hundred men: and the host of Mi-

in the ears of the people, saying, dian was beneath him in the valley. a Deut. 20. 8. a Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let 9 1 And it came to pass

the same
him return and depart early from night, that the LORD said unto him,
mount Gilead. And there returned | Arise, get thee down unto the host;
of the people twenty and two thou- for I have delivered it into thine
sand; and there remained ten thou- | hand.
sand.

10 But if thou fear to go down, go
4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, thou with Phurah thy servant down
The people are yet too many; bring to the host :
them down unto the water, and I will 11 And thou shalt hear what they
try them for thee there : and it shall say; and afterwards shall thine hands
be, that of whom I say unto thee, be strengthened to go down unto the
This shall go with thee, the same host. Then went he down with
shall
go

with thee; and of whomso- Phurah his servant unto the outside
I say unto thee, This shall not of the || armed men that were in the Or, ranks

by five. go with thee, the same shall not host. go.

12 And the Midianites and the 5 So he brought down the people Amalekites and ball the children of b Chap. 6. 33. unto the water: and the Lord said the east lay along in the valley like unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth grasshoppers for multitude ; and their of the water with his tongue, as a dog camels were without number, as the lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; sand by the sea side for multitude.

1 Mac. 3. 56.

ever

Chap. VII. ver. 2.- lest Israel vaunt themselves] God and with the march; which made them greedily betake knew the disposition of the Israelites, and foresaw that, themselves to the water. Bp. Patrick. It has been vafrom motives of vanity, they would be disposed to riously conjectured, what symptoms of courage or ascribe the victory to their own power and prowess, cowardice were collected from these different ways of and not to Him : whereas He intended to shew to all drinking amongst the soldiers; some supposing that the world that it was his miraculous work. Bp. Patrick. the snatching it up with the hand denoted a fearful

3.- from mount Gilead.] Not the mountain of that temper; others, on the contrary, supposing that this name, often mentioned in Scripture, which was east of way of drinking betokened courage, or a temperate and Jordan; but another on the west side of Jordan, in hardy disposition. It is more probable, that the manner the tribe of Manasseh. Bp. Patrick.

of drinking was a symptom of neither ; but that God, 4. The people are yet too many :] If human strength foreknowing all things, chose this manner of pitching were to be opposed, there should have needed an equal on the smaller number, without any regard to their ity of strength; but now that God meant to give the personal valour. Pyle. victory, his care was not how to get it, but how not to The true reason and design of this method seems to lose the glory of it. He was willing to give deliverance be this : God was minded to reduce the army of Gideon unto Israel, but the praise of the deliverance He would to a very small number, which, it was probable, would keep to Himself: it was the same with Him to save be effected by this means; for as the season was hot, with many as with few; but He rather chose to save by and the generality of the soldiers weary, thirsty, and few, that all the victory might redound to Himself. Bp. faint, it was most probable that they would lie down, Hall.

(as indeed they did,) and refresh themselves plentifully; 5. --- Every one that lappeth &c.] We may well and it was scarcely to be expected that any great numsuppose they were thirsty with the heat of the weather, ber would deny themselves in this matter. Stackhouse.

Before CHRIST

Before CHRIST about 1249.

+ Heb. lip.

His stratagem.

CHAP. VII, VIII.

Oreb and Zeeb are taken. 13 And when Gideon was come, I blew the trumpets, and brake the about 1249, behold, there was a man that told a pitchers that were in their hands.

dream unto his fellow, and said, Be 20 And the three companies blew
hold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a the trumpets, and brake the pitchers,
cake of barley bread tumbled into and held the lamps in their left hands,
the host of Midian, and came unto and the trumpets in their right hands
a tent, and smote it that it fell, and to blow withal: and they cried, The
overturned it, that the tent lay along: sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.

14 And his fellow answered and 21 And they stood every man in
said, This is nothing else save the his place round about the camp: and
sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a all the host ran, and cried, and fled.
man of Israel: for into his hand hath 22 And the three hundred blew
God delivered Midian, and all the the trumpets, and «the LORD set c Isa. 9. 4.
host.

every man's sword against his fellow, 15 | And it was so, when Gideon even throughout all the host : and the

heard the telling of the dream, and host fled to Beth-shittah || in Zere- || Or,lowards. + Heb. the + the interpretation thereof, that he rath, and to + the border of Abelbreaking thereof. worshipped, and returned into the meholah, unto Tabbath.

host of Israel, and said, Arise; for 23 And the men of Israel gather-
the Lord hath delivered into your ed themselves together out of Naph-
hand the host of Midian.

tali, and out of Asher, and out of all
16 And he divided the three hun- Manasseh, and pursued after the Mi-

dred men into three companies, and dianites. + Heb. he put ta trumpet in every man's 24 | And Gideon sent messenin the hand hand, with empty pitchers, and || lamps gers throughout all mount Ephraim, of all of them. within the pitchers.

saying, Come down against the Mibrands, or, 17 And he said unto them, Look dianites, and take before them the

on me, and do likewise : and, behold, waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.
when I come to the outside of the Then all the men of Ephraim gather-
camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ed themselves together, and took the

waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.
18 When I blow with a trumpet, 25 And they took d two princes of a Ps. 83. 11.
I and all that are with me, then blow the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and Isa. 10. 26.
ye the trumpets also on every side they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb,
of all the camp, and say, The sword and Zeeb they slew at the winepress
of the LORD, and of Gideon. of Zeeb, and pursued Midian,

and
19 g So Gideon, and the hundred brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb
men that were with him, came unto to Gideon on the other side Jordan.
the outside of the camp in the begin-

CHAP. VIII.
ning of the middle watch ; and they 1 Gideon pacifieth the Ephraimites. 4 Suc-
had but newly set the watch: and they coth and Penuel refuse to relieve Gideon's

Or, fire

torches,

ye do.

15.

that he worshipped,] Gave humble thanks to watchword was taken from the interpretation of the God for his goodness, in giving this new encourage- Midianite's dream, as referring to “the sword of Giment to proceed in his undertaking. Bp. Patrick. deon,” ver. 14; to which Gideon piously prefixed “the

16. -- with empty pitchers,] Earthen pitchers. Bp. sword of the Lord,” as the Author of the stratagem, of Patrick. Though leathern bottles were much used by the dream, and of its interpretation. Dr. Hales. the people of the East, earthen jars or pitchers were 19. — in the beginning of the middle watch ;] The sometimes used also. Dr. Chandler mentions having Hebrews and other Eastern nations divided the night used an earthen jar for carrying water in travelling into three parts, which were called the 1st, 2nd, and through Asia Minor. If this was the practice in Gi- 3rd watches; because the guards or watches were deon's time, it could not be difficult for him to collect changed three times. The Romans, and from them the three hundred water jars from among ten thousand | Jews in later times, divided the night into four watches; Harmer.

whence we read in the Gospel of the 4th watch. Lewis. lamps] Rather, torches, which were concealed 24. took the waters unto Beth-barah and Jordan.] in the pitchers. Bp. Patrick.

That is, they secured all the fords or passes along the Though God had promised by these three hundred river Jordan, from Beth-barah, (which is thought to men to chase the Midianites, yet Gideon neglected not be the same as Bethabara, mentioned by St. John,) wise stratagems to secure the victory. To wait for lying near the south end of the river Jordan, to the beGod's performance, and do nothing, is to abuse that ginning of Jordan, or its issuing from the sea of GaDivine providence, which will always so work, as not lilee. Dr. Wells. to allow us to remain in inactivity. Bp. Hall.

25. — the rock Oreb,] The rock, called Oreb in 18. - The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.] This future times, from the event here related. Bp. Patrick.

men.

Before CHRIST

Before CHRIST about 1249.

AN

+ Heb.

this thou hast done unto us?

thousand, every one

sword.

+ Heb.

Zebah and Zalmunna are taken.

JUDGES. Succoth and Penuel are destroyed. army, 10 Zebah and Zalmunna are tuken. | swered him as the men of Succoth

13 Succoth and Penuel are destroyed. about 1249.

18 had answered him.
Gideon revengeth his brethren's death on
Zebah and Zalmunna. 22 He refuseth

9 And he spake also unto the men

go-
vernment. 24 His ephod cause of idolairy. of Penuel, saying, When I come
28 Midian subdued. 29 Gideon's children, again in peace, I will break down
and death, 33 The Israelites' idolatry and this tower.
ingratitude.

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna
ND the men of Ephraim said were in Karkor, and their hosts with

unto him, + Why hast thou served them, about fifteen thousand men, all What thing is

us thus, that thou calledst us not, when that were left of all the hosts of the
thou wentest to fight with the Mi- children of the east: for there fell || an Or, an

dianites? And they did chide with hundred and twenty thousand men twenty + Heb. him + sharply.

that drew sword. strongly.

2 And he said unto them, What 11 And Gideon went up by the drawing a have I done now in comparison of way of them that dwelt in tents on you? Is not the gleaning of the the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, grapes of Ephraim better than the and smote the host: for the host was vintage of Abi-ezer?

secure. 3 God hath delivered into your 12 And when Zebah and Zalhands the princes of Midian, Oreb munna fled, he pursued after them, and Zeeb: and what was I able to do and took the two kings of Midian, in comparison of you? Then their Zebah and Zalmunna, and + discom- + Heb. tanger was abated toward him, when fited all the host.

terrified. spirit. he had said that.

13 And Gideon the son of Joash
4 9 And Gideon came to Jordan, returned from battle before the sun
and passed over, he, and the three was up,
hundred men that were with him, 14 And caught a young man of
faint, yet pursuing them.

the men of Succoth, and enquired of
5 And he said unto the men of him: and he + described unto him the + Heb. writ.
Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of princes of Succoth, and the elders
bread unto the people that follow thereof, even threescore and seventeen
me: for they be faint, and I am pursu- men.
ing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings 15 And he came unto the men of
of Midian.

Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and
6 9 And the princes of Succoth Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid
said, Are the hands of Zebah and me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah
Zalmunna now in thine hand, that and Zalmunna now in thine hand,
we should give bread unto thine that we should give bread unto thy
army?

men that are weary ?
7 And Gideon said, Therefore 16 And he took the elders of the
when the Lord hath delivered Zebah city, and thorns of the wilderness and

and Zalmunna into mine hand, then briers, and with them he + taught the + Heb. made + Heb.thresh. I will + tear your flesh with the men of Succoth.

thorns of the wilderness and with 17 And he beat down the tower of
briers.

Penuel, and slew the men of the a 1 Kings 12.
8 And he went up thence to city.
Penuel, and spake unto them like 18 Then said he unto Zebah
wise: and the men of Penuel an- and Zalmunna, What manner of men

to know.

a

25.

Chap. VIII. ver. 2.- Is not the gleaning &c.] A them. It is a bitter sort of taunt, arising from irreligion, common proverb, probably, in those days, by which which made them doubt whether the hand of God was they were wont to commend the smallest action of one, in the victory, and whether Gideon would be able to as superiour to the greatest of another. It is as if he perfect it. Bp. Patrick. had said, These scattered parties, which you have 9. - this tower.] The tower of their city, in which gleaned and picked up at the fords of Jordan, are far they confided, and to which perhaps they pointed when more than those which I and my whole host have de- they gave this rude answer. Bp. Patrick. stroyed. Bp. Patrick.

16. — with them he taught the men of Succoth.] With 5. - Succoth,] See Gen. xxxiii. 17.

them he beat the elders of the city, for a warning unto 6.- Are the hands &c.] They bid him first take the men of Succoth; who by their example were taught those kings captive, and bring them with their hands how dangerous it is to slight the agents of God. Bp. bound behind them, before he made any demands upon Hall.

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